Bar cited in fatal accident | AspenTimes.com

Bar cited in fatal accident

John Colson

Stubbie’s bar in Basalt faces prosecution for allegedly overserving a patron before he died in a car crash in April, according to the Basalt Police Department.Juan A. Garcia-Martinez, of Carbondale, was killed instantly when his car slammed into a concrete median on Highway 82 near Emma. He allegedly had been drinking at a private party at Stubbie’s before the accident, which occurred shortly after midnight on April 13.Garcia-Martinez’s blood-alcohol level was 0.316 percent at the time of the accident, Basalt Sgt. Joe Chavira said. An individual is considered legally impaired when the blood-alcohol level exceeds .05, and is considered drunk when that level exceeds .085.Chavira said the Basalt Police Department’s policy is to pursue overserving charges whenever a patron of a bar achieves a blood-alcohol level of 0.2 or higher.According to a news account at the time, Garcia-Martinez, 34, had been at an employee party organized by the Timbers Club, a private-residence development in Snowmass Village. Garcia-Martinez had worked in the club’s maintenance department for more than a year. The victim’s roommate, David Barajas, told a reporter that Garcia-Martinez had moved here from Mexico, where his family lived, shortly before he started working for the Timbers Club.According to the Aspen Times news story about the accident, at around 12:30 a.m. on April 13, Chavira observed Garcia-Martinez’s 1984 Audi weaving badly and speeding. The officer reportedly was trying to catch up with the westbound vehicle when the accident occurred.Chavira said he was parked on Emma Road completing some paperwork when he noticed a car swerving onto the dirt shoulder of Highway 82 just downvalley from the main Basalt traffic signal. That “kicked up a bunch of dust” and grabbed Chavira’s attention.He pulled onto the highway and tried to catch up to the Audi, but was a long distance behind.”It was traveling at a high rate of speed. I don’t know how fast he was going,” Chavira said. He added that Garcia-Martinez was weaving across both westbound lanes, prompting Chavira to turn on the car’s video camera to establish probable cause for making a stop.About two miles downvalley from the Basalt stoplight, Garcia-Martinez rounded the Emma curve 82 “really wide” and hit the concrete barrier, Chavira said. The wreck occurred just downvalley from the old Emma store.Chavira said an investigation by the Basalt Police Department and the Colorado State Patrol indicated that Garcia-Martinez was partying at Stubbie’s that night. Chavira said he interviewed several witnesses who told him they had seen Garcia-Martinez at Stubbie’s.Chavira said the results of the blood-alcohol test came back on July 19. The department is in the process of issuing a summons to the bar’s management to appear in Pitkin County Court.Chavira said that, to the best of his knowledge, this is the first time Stubbie’s has been formally accused of overserving a patron.John Colson’s e-mail address is jcolson@aspentimes.com